The Grove, Watford

We woke on Sunday to our first rain since we started this sector of journey at Oxford. It stayed damp for for most of the morning but it wasn't unpleasant unlike the rain, hail and wind on the Oxford Canal.

Denholm Deep lock was its usual challenge, with just us going through, but we managed to take Albert through without incident. An "unofficial" sponsored bike ride was going on along the towpath from Uxbridge to Widewater lock. It was in aid of an asthma charity. It appears that a group of friends get together every year, on the same day as the London Marathon, for a bike ride in memory of one of their friends (a father) who died from asthma. There was a wide range of ages taking part with some very young bike riders taking part - good for them.

Another Glass Box, near Copper Mill Lock

At Springwell we passed Comet, Roger Alsop's boat. Roger recently carried out Albert's Boat Safety Certificate. We stopped for a chat. We needed to work out where to moor Albert whilst I take a short trip to Scotland on behalf of my professional institution (IAgrE). Roger helpfully suggested some locations in Berkhamsted. Roger's company is curently busy working along the Regents Canal near London Zoo.

NB Comet near Springwell Lock

We stopped at Tesco, Rickmansworth for supplies. By then we had warm sunshine again. There is an interesting model canal by Batchworth Lock where some years ago NB Roger was on the bank awaiting restoration.

Little Union Canal, Rickmansworth

Restored wooden working boat Roger at Rickmansworth

I couldn't resist photographing the Ark just above Batchworth Lock. It has been there for years, we certainly remember seeing it in 1997. However, it still looks a neat and interesting boat.

The Ark, Rikmansworth

Just below Cassiobridge lock we met NB Victoria who made the immediate connection with Albert and thought we should cruise together.

NB Victoria

Despite the changeable weather there were lots of people in Cassiobury Park. At the ever popular Ironbridge lock around thirty people gathered to watch Albert lock through.

Locking through Ironbridge Lock, Watford with an audience

We finally called it a long day when we reached The Grove (Bridge 164). It was again dull and misty by then and not particularly pleasant. Despite the high water levels, mooring up was a challenge but after some manoeuvring we managed to get Albert reasonably close to the bank.